With little effort, produce a special meal that is both elegant and delicious. Smoked Lobster Tails will not disappoint. Smoked over cherry, served with a perfectly cooked steak and some butter for dipping, this surf and turf presentation will make any meal a special occasion.
In my house, lobster is reserved for special occasions. They aren't cheap and for the novice, they may be intimidating to cook. There are plenty of barriers to the everyday home chef having the confidence to take on lobsters. If you only enjoy them out at a fancy restaurant, the cost is much higher and an "add on" lobster tail to make your entree into a surf n turf can be very expensive. This smoked lobster tails recipe will show you how cooking lobster on your smoker is an almost foolproof way to get it right every time.
Ingredients for Smoked Lobster Tails Recipe
Lobster Tails: This is pretty simple. You can use fresh or frozen lobster tails. If the lobster tails are frozen, allow the lobster to thaw overnight in the refrigerator.
The hardest part of this whole recipe is preparing the lobster tails for the smoker. To smoke lobster tails we need to remove the shell for the smoke to permeate the meat. Removing the raw lobster meat from the inside of the shell can be challenging, so we first need to blanch the tail in order to remove the shell. We don't want to cook it here, just enough to get the shell off.
How to smoke Lobster Tails
Step One: Bring a pot of water to a boil. Once the water is boiling, place the lobster tails into the water and let cook for three minutes. Immediately remove the tails and rinse them under cold water. Using kitchen shears or poultry scissors, carefully cut through the bottom of the shell being careful not to cut up the flesh. Carefully peel back the shell and remove the lobster tail meat from inside the shell. Make a small slice on the top of the deshelled lobster tail to remove the intestine.
Step Two: Smoke the lobster tails. No matter what type of smoker you are using, be sure to preheat it and keep it at 200°F. This low temperature is harder to maintain, but we want to allow the lobster time to absorb the flavor without cooking it too quickly. We are shooting for approximately 60 minutes of cook time. Place the lobster tails directly on the grill grate in the smoker and close.
To maintain the 200°F temperature, play around with the amount of fuel you will be using and adjust your vents accordingly.
If you are using charcoal, I recommend using cherry wood chips or chunks for smoked lobster tails.
In a pellet grill, I recommend using a blend of hickory and cherry wood pellets for a nice smoke flavor.
How do you know when lobster is done?
I constantly battle the temperatures that the USDA recommends for safe consumption. It will regularly produce overcooked, tough food. For lobster, I will usually cook it by sight. You are looking for firm white flesh. You can tell that the meat is not cooked yet if the flesh is translucent. If you have a good instant-read meat thermometer, I recommend cooking the smoked lobster tails until 135°F internal temperature.
Lobster Dipping Sauce
Make a simple butter dipping sauce for the smoked lobster tail. I didn't want to make anything that would compete with the delicate smoky flavor on the lobster. I simply microwaved a tablespoon of salted butter in a small bowl for 20 seconds and it was ready to go. If you want to make quick garlic butter, just mix in a little garlic powder and you kicked it up a bit. Brush some of the butter sauce on top of the tails for a beautiful presentation.
What to serve with Smoked Lobster
Surf n Turf
- Steak - Surf and turf is a dish composed of surf (fish) and turf (meat), normally it is steak and lobster. Steak and Lobster Tail is a classic in steakhouses. Surf n turf can also apply to other dishes that contain both seafood and land animals.
Sides for Lobster
- Smoked Mac and Cheese - Smoked Mac and Cheese is a dish that is made by taking a tray of homemade macaroni and cheese and smoking it. It really kicks up the flavor. You could even make it into lobster mac and cheese by cutting up some cooked lobster meat and stirring it in.
- Traeger Baked Potatoes - Baked potatoes are often served as a side dish to seafood because they complement salty foods well.
- Herbed Butter - Compound herb butter is made out of butter and herbs with a blended mixture of herbs.
- Smoked Garlic Cloves - Smoked garlic is nice on top of smoked lobster tails because it's sweet and savory.
- Grilled Broccoli - Don't forget something green on your plate. Grilled broccoli is one of our go-to sides for just about everything.
- Green Beans - Crisp air-fried green beans are a nice choice to serve with seafood.
- Stewed Pears - A bowl of sweet cooked pears with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and a drizzle of honey is the perfect end to a rich meal.
- Smoked Bananas - Since your smoker is going already why not make dessert on it. Smoke a couple of bananas and then slice and serve them with whipped cream and chocolate sauce.
- 2 lobster tails (4 oz each)
- 1 tablespoon salted butter melted to serve
- Preheat smoker to 200.
- Boil a small pot of water with a pinch of salt added. Place lobster tails into the boiling water for 3 minutes to blanch. Remove and run under cold water.
- Using a kitchen shears cut through the bottom of the lobster tail and peel the shell off.
- Place directly on the grate in the smoker. Smoke for 1 hour.
- Serve immediately with melted butter.